UNIVERSITY campus bosses are trying to find innovative ways to attract new learners as higher tuition fees bite.
The University of Lincoln Holbeach Campus says it is facing challenging times as cuts in funding from central Government mean it has had to increase fees from September to £4,000, from £1,250 last year.
The National Centre for Food Manufacturing provides courses tailored to local and national agri-food businesses and traditionally employers have paid for employees to attend the specialist courses offered there on a part-time basis while working and earning.
Sharon Green, head of skills and employer engagement, said: “We usually have a very healthy intake for September – last year it was 53, which is one of the highest across the country for specialist university courses – but this year it is more challenging as employers look at the alternatives.
“That could include asking learners to pay half of the fees, for example, or even ask them to take loans out to pay for the whole lot.
“But I think we have to see it as an opportunity – albeit a challenging one – to interest new people, such as younger learners.
“When you look at university fees elsewhere, young people should be encouraged to consider the food industry as a career choice, come to Holbeach campus, be earning while they learn and stay living at home, with the associated savings of not having to pay for student accommodation.”
The changes to funding for higher education will see many universities, including Lincoln, raise their fees to £9,000 from September, from a previous cap of £3,375.
The controversial policy, backed by Parliament in December 2010, sparked angry street protests as thousands made their views known.